No charges to be filed in Chili's investigation
UPDATE (June 25, 11:52 a.m.):
No criminal charges will be filed against the officer involved in a police shooting at Chili's restaurant in Harrisonburg on Friday afternoon.
According to Marsha Garst, Commonwealth's Attorney of Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg, the use of force was justified in this instance.
"After an extensive review of all the evidence and the investigation surrounding the police shooting at Chili's Restaurant that occurred on June 22, 2018, of Thomas Beall, Jr., I have determined that no criminal charges will be placed against the officer involved and the just of force was justified in this instance," explained a release by Garst on Monday.
Garst claims Beall was armed with a large knife and the officer repeatedly advised Mr. Beall to drop the knife and let the customers he had cornered leave the restaurant.
"Beall refused to drop the weapon or move away from the customers and the officer deployed less lethal force in the form of a Taser," said Garst.
Garst said Beall then advanced toward the officer, still armed with the large knife, and the officer used deadly force to protect himself and the customer.
A local man is dead after an officer-involved shooting at the Chili's in Harrisonburg on Friday afternoon.
According to Harrisonburg Public Information Officer Mary-Hope Vass, a white man entered the Chili's on East Market St. (Route 33) around 3:15 p.m. on June 22, wielding a knife, and began threatening customers.
Officers responded shortly afterward to a call about the situation, entered the store, confronted the suspect, and fired, striking him.
It's not clear at this point how many shots were fired or how many times the suspect was hit.
The man, identified by police as 31-year-old Thomas Albun Beall, of Broadway, was taken to Sentara RMH, where he later died.
No one else at the scene was injured.
The Harrisonburg Police Department Major Crimes Unit is in the preliminary stage of investigating this incident and will work alongside the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office as the investigation continues.
Evidence will be collected throughout the evening and Chili's, which is a franchise of Chesapeake Restaurants, remains closed for the evening.
It's standard protocol for the department to carry out a criminal investigation in addition to their internal affairs investigation for the officer-involved shooting.
The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave, per standard procedure.
Police are asking anyone who may have been in the restaurant around that time to contact Harrisonburg police as soon as possible and let them know what you saw or heard.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact HPD by calling (540) 437-2640. Those who wish to remain anonymous my contact Crime Solvers by calling (540) 574-5050 or by texting “HPD” plus their tip to CRIMES (274637).
This is a developing story. Stay with WHSV for updates.